Sultan M Hali
AS if Indian atrocities on hapless Muslims of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) were not enough, India has decided to support the repressive regime of Myanmar, which is wreaking havoc on the Muslim Rohingya community. The genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar continues unabated. Unsurprisingly, the western powers and their otherwise vibrant media like the BBC, CNN et al are mum on the subject. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Myanmar, who are known as the Rohingya, are being targeted. Myanmar Army is beheading children, women and burning the Muslims alive while Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is a prominent leader in Myanmar and herself suffered incarceration and deprivation and is considered a champion of human rights is backing those who are wreaking havoc on the Rohingya and forcing them to flee to save themselves from the slaughter.
The million strong Rohingya, historically termed as Arakanese Indians, are a stateless Indo-Aryan people from Rakhine State, Myanmar. The majority are Muslim while a minority is Hindu. Described by the United Nations in 2013 as one of the most persecuted communities in the world, the Rohingya population is denied citizenship under the 1982 Burmese citizenship law, which restricts full citizenship to British Indian migrants who settled after 1823.
According to Human Rights Watch, the law “effectively denies to the Rohingya the possibility of acquiring a nationality. Despite being able to trace Rohingya history to the 8th century, Burmese law does not recognize the ethnic minority as one of the national races.” India has joined the fray for two reasons; firstly, the current ruling junta of India, which is guided by hate and bigotry of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and led by the “Butcher of Gujarat”, Narendra Modi, is a sworn enemy of the Muslims; secondly, in the garb of the repression against the Rohingyas, Modi finds it expedient to blame Pakistan for its alleged support to the downtrodden Muslims of Myanmar. Readers may recall that Israel is committing unprecedented atrocities against the Palestinians in Gaza but instead of condemning the genocide of Muslims, India embraces Israel as its mentor and seeks new methods of inflicting violence on the Muslims of IOK. The new instrument of terror in IOK, which has killed 200 and blinded 3500 Kashmiri youth, the “pellet gun” is considered an effective weapon to torment the unarmed Kashmiris.
The sad plight of the Rohingya has provided the Indians a blunt instrument to beat Pakistan with and propagate that the Pakistanis are training jihadists in Myanmar and terrorizing the “peace loving Buddhists” of Myanmar. Quoting Indian intelligence, “The Indian Express reported that Jaish-e-Mohammad had trained Rohingya in camps in Bangladesh. It surmised that Khalid Mohammed, a member of the Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO), admitted to Indian police that he had received explosives training. Two other RSO members were detained in 2013 in Indonesia on charges of planning to attack the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta.
The Indian paper said that Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, another banned Pakistani group whose leader Hafez Saeed was put under house arrest in Lahore earlier this year had organized in 2012 a conference in solidarity with the Rohingya and sent operatives to Bangladesh and Thailand to contact refugees from Myanmar. This is an alarming state of affairs, since Pakistan has always taken up cudgels against cruelty meted out to Muslims anywhere in the world, be it Palestine, Kashmir, Serbia, Bosnia or Myanmar. Pakistanis have organized protest rallies and lent diplomatic support to condemning brutality against humanity.
India on the other hand, being a violent oppressor itself, finds it opportune to propagate allegations against Pakistan of supporting Jihadists of Myanmar, saying, “Pakistan is backing Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) headed by Ammar Junjuni, a Karachi born Pakistani and trained by intelligence agencies”. Taking cue from the tone of US president against N-Korea’s nuclear program, India is trying to apply the same tenor on Pakistan. There has also been an increase in debate about safety & security of Pakistan’s nuclear programme in US/ Indian think tanks. Aung San Suu Kyi, who was being blamed for her cruel silence at the genocide of the Rohingya Muslims by the Myanmar Army, has sought refuge in the Indian allegations against Pakistan and is now blaming “foreign” elements instigating the Rohingya.
The issue of the genocide and sad predicament of Rohingya refugees seeking asylum has been cleverly brushed under the carpet of terrorism and jihad. Simultaneously, India is fomenting trouble in Pakistan’s province of Balochistan with two aims, destabilizing Pakistan and sabotaging the China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor (CPEC). Reports indicate that Free Balochistan Movement (FBM), headed by Harbyar Marri and with the reportedly clandestine support of India, on the eve of “Chinese National Day” on 30 September 2017, organized a protest rally in Gottingen, Germany. This has been done on the Indian sponsored false propaganda about China’s new colonialism and human rights violations in Balochistan. It was said in their statements that China and Pakistan nexus is aimed to turn Baloch demography into a minority.
Protest rallies by Baloch insurgent groups abroad have increased in order to project Balochistan issue on international forums. Baloch Student Organization-Azad (BSO) also organized a demonstration outside British Prime Minister’s residence in London on 1st October 2017 against alleged Pakistan war crimes in Balochistan. Pakistan’s Foreign Office and media must expose the Indian machinations against Pakistan, which has raised its voice against Indian atrocities in IOK and Myanmar’s repression of the Rohingya.
—The writer is retired PAF Group Captain and a TV talk show host.
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Sultan M Hali